Pulling a rabbit out of a hat

When someone doesn't have enough fabric to make what they want but they say to just do the best you can.. ummmmmm ......this can prove to be a bad decision to take a job like this.. but I took it  because I do a lot of work with this designer.

I had to spend  extra time making these than it would normally take to make them,,,,,, because I was short fabric.... re-inventing the wheel so to speak... but in the end I actually was pleased with how they turned out. They look as they should! But boy did I have to put some thought into these...

These are called relaxed roman shades.... they are not as tailored or fitted for a lack of a better word as a flat fold roman shade is... there were five of these.. 2 one size in width and 3 another ...to make matters worse this fabric has a fairly large pattern repeat but I could not loose one single inch. Two of the romans would be made from one cut of fabric split ..... but they all had to match in pattern around the room and that darn large pattern repeat to deal with... Which in the end meant cutting these a lot different than I would have if I had had the yardage I should have had....  yes you can say stressful!!!! I did stress over these quite a bit..... but in the end I am good with how they turned out...







Sometimes you just don't know why :O)

I finished these soft fold roman shades.. I wound up putting one of them on the board 4 times before every single fold matched the other one perfectly...they were going in the same window side by side they had to match perfectly...... Why did I have to put it on four times?.... Who knows ROFL... I measured and measured.. I check I double checked... I made them exactly the same.. I placed every ring exactly the same spacing... Roman Shades can be like that.. real toots when they want to be ROFL... Patience is a good character trait if you are going to make roman shades for a living :O).. Luckily I usually have plenty...  I made two of these just like the one you see.. I was pleased with them.. They were pretty... These are called Soft fold roman shades or some call them Hobbled Shades.. I think the term hobbled shade is probably known to those of us that have been in this a while.. where soft fold is the newer term I think :O)

Honeyman liked these.. his first response when he saw them was...wow I like those... :O)...  I don't make near as many of these as I do flat roman shades.. no doubt cost is a factor. It takes twice the fabric to make one as a flat roman shade and these are more expensive to have made. They are slower, harder, more tedious, more supplies to make them.


                                               Pretty stack .. no :O)

touching base :O)

First off I would like to say.... I know  a lot of you guys follow my blog due to the gardening and canning and not to see my work. Well right now other than watering non stop my perennials and fruit trees and such to get them through the summer ......... dealing with the usual lack of rain for Texas this time of year and extreme heat........ that is all I am doing on the gardening and canning front... Since my garden was not up to snuff this year due to the early spring really bad flooding... well my work is all there has been to report... Sorry...

On a work note.. I am still swamped with orders... this is a good thing right... Roman Shades seem to be alive and well in Texas...

Right now I am working on a couple of soft fold roman shades.. some people call them hobbled roman shades... same thing... soft fold roman shades are just what they are called. When hanging all the way down they still have soft folds in them... not flat like a flat fold roman is when let all the way down. They are a lot of fabric to deal with at once and a bit more tedious to make. But they are nice looking... this is where I am now on the ones I am making.. this one I have the twill tape and rings sewn on and these photos show the folds ... the stripes line up nicely and all seems to be going as it should be!! :O).. This is always a good thing :O)...




I will show you guys one hanging and all done when I get there... I am 16 roman shades in the hole right now. Meaning I have orders for 16 shades including these two... yes I am busy busy busy busy... :O)

Dog days of summer....

Its the dog days of summer, I need a bath . My not so great home hair cut is about half grown out and sorta looking a bit of a mess. 

 Mom has been very busy and I haven't gotten a bath. But she does brush me every few days. You know she won't let me in her sewing room!!! No really its true! She has a gate in the stairway and it opens and closes only for her! Sometimes I lay on the step right by the gate,, is a pie shaped step in the turn of the stairs. She says I cannot come in her sewing room because she has clients fabrics in there and they may not have doggies or love doggies like she does. That they would not appreciate my beautiful hair like she does. I think well what kind of client is that! She also told me some people are allergic to doggies! Can you just imagine how awful that must be!!! To not be able to have a furry friend because you are allergic to us! Oh my....
 I lay here patiently waiting on her to get done working for the day. Its to hot for Great Pyrenees to go outside and lay around. Whew its been over 100 and thats just to hot for me, even in the shade. Mom is looking for a groomer for me. Mom has anxiety about leaving me at a groomers so we are not sure if this will happen. She reads another blog that has a doggy just like me, oh he looks so much like me its not even funny! Eli is his name.... I would like to play with Eli.. he seems like a real nice fella, he is a few years younger than me but we sure look a like!...  Eli is always so clean and brushed out and all. Mom says if we can find a groomer that she feels good about we will give it a try. She said she will stay with me the first time the whole time I am there and see how it all goes, just to be sure. :O)... Mom is kinda over protective in case you haven't figured that out.

 Finished these two today! These were 81 1/2 inches long! The fabric was a really nice weight and worked up beautiful in roman shades. The stack was great on these, partly due to wonderful fabric chosen for these.



I am getting around to you guys blogs as I can. I don't make everyone's everyday... I hit a few each day :O)
My garden this year was just about a bust.. I only put up around 100 jars this year. This is why the old timers always say can for two years! You never know when you will have a bad year. Luckily I do just that!  The early flooding and constant rain just set the garden up poorly for a good year right out of the shooting gate. But at least we got what we got. We had some nice fresh eating, but just not enough to can much over what we what we ate fresh.  I will hope that next year will be a really good year!

Working, working, working, and computer died but came back to life sorta

So I am working like crazy ... I had those 28 roman shade orders hit at once,  I am delivering some more of those today. The ones I am delivering today all had valances. Sometimes you just get a job that what can go wrong will go wrong... this was one of those... I am soooooooo glad these are done! If I never work with this fabric I just finished with again it will be to soon :O) ...  You know the saying about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear... well I feel like I managed to do just that... arghhhh   It was more than just a fabric issue but they are done now so will just leave it at that. :O) .

Where I am at now....14 of the 28 to go. :O)...

My computer crashed, died, what ever you want to call it...

It said to me on the screen
"Jim" "He's dead"

LOL apparently google has a sense of humor... anyway so it died... I had to copy every last thing I could off my hard drive and put it on USB sticks.... then delete all that off my computer... I had used all the memory up so it was telling me... So I did all that and then I had to do a few other things.... It did come back to life but its on its last leg... I am trying to make it till end of year as I understand Windows 10 will be out by then. If  it doesn't make it, then yep I will just have to get one sooner. I don't know if its going to make it... its a day by day thing.

Honeyman has been helping me to water in the evenings and on weekends. We are trying to keep this place from completely going under, with both of us working so much its a bit stressful and hard to keep up with... Its really dry now. We are our usual 100 degrees plus, normal for this time of year....Day before yesterday it was 104 then we got that weak cold front which is almost comical they actually called it that on the weather, it dropped us just below 100... LOL..


More roman shades done and a lot more on order.

Just finished these roman shades... There were two of these.  This fabric made some pretty shades but was a little bit difficult on the pattern. It has two definite rows of design that made up the pattern that ran up the fabric. In the center the pattern was not as heavy. Due to the size of the shades I kept having what visually looked like lop sided shades LOL... But I was able to get it all worked out to where the pattern looked balanced on the shades and they matched.


                                           Hand sewn side hems
Ladder tape enclosing the cord, this is per ANSI safety regulations for roman shades. This prevents a choking hazard to children. Rings are place every 8" which is also a regulation.
Warning labels go on every shade that leaves my work room, in English and Spanish per ANSI safety regulations. 

Lots of safety regulations to follow these days.

I think you will agree the pattern looks balanced and not heavy to one side. I am almost embarrassed to admit how long it took me to figure the placement. It looks simple in the photo but as I said there was space in the center that was created by two rows of pattern running up the fabric, its sort of hard to explain. 
I think they turned out really nice. 



I am very busy right now. I have orders for more flat roman shades with valances some without valances, some relaxed roman shades, some soft fold roman shades. To be exact I am 28 orders in the hole right now. But that's a good thing, though its a tiny bit stressful I will say.


Why pushing and working so hard right now....

Why I have become such a work-a-holic lately. Well ok a work-a-holic for actual pay  :O).... I was a work-a-holic anyway lol.

I have made it no secret that the plan is for us to retire in AR in the Ozark mountains where I am originally from. We are going a bit west of where I grew up.

We are really stepping up the search now for property and actually putting a time frame to all this! I cannot tell you how very excited that I am.

Soooooo a couple years ago when the opportunity came to go back into Interior Design working at the design studio, I took the job as you guys know. Which then led to me opening my own drapery work room so I could work from our property and try to manage the farm, the gardens, canning, etc. and keep working. So far its working out very well!

Me working is helping a bit to get us there quicker. Its just added a bit of punch to our time table :O).

We we will be scaling back home size wise... a small one bedroom cabin is the plan for there :O)... I am very much looking forward to that. At this point in my life I have so much I would rather do with my time beside clean and keep up a big house! Its just honeyman and I, we never had children so we don't need a big house with lots of room for big family gatherings or guest rooms for kids and grand kids etc... A one bedroom cabin will be perfect for us! We have sort of been all over the place on property. We go from thinking what we have now 27 acres... then we think well should we get more? ...then we think being on the water to not being on water...ROFL yes its a bit hard to figure out but I know we will know the right property when we see it. We have found a great realtor who has been very understanding on how all over the place we are. She says when her and her husband moved there they were the same way and she understands, she must as she has been very good to work with. Our first realtor didn't understand and seemed to expect us to buy a place after one trip to look.  I knew we had to find a different realtor after that trip LOL.

We want to have enough acres to have elbow room and privacy but not enough to work us to death. I will of course need room to garden and grow herbs and and and and because you guys know I have to grow stuff and a lot of  it.. its what I do.. :O) and ultimately its my favorite thing to do!

Besides growing stuff there will be many things to do there. Wonderful outdoor things to do, running is going to be great there! Lots of places for trail running! Cycling as well, so many great cycle trails. We plan to take up kayaking as we feel we will both really enjoy that. Hiking as well lots of places for that. If you love outdoor stuff AR is a great place for that! Holistic healing and organic gardening have a good foot hold in this area of AR. But on the same hand there is a highly rated hospital in the larger town that would be within driving distance should one need it for something major. We will be living rural. That is what we want.

So that is what kinda fueled my taking up the offer of the job at the design studio which then led to me opening my drapery work room here which has led to me working A LOT :O).  Its been a bumpy ride as you guys know that have read my blog a while know. I struggled hard to keep up and adjust to the demands in the beginning. I have cut back some on what I do outside here and that has been a bit hard for me. But its short term and I know that.  My gardens are not as well kept, I don't get to do as much growing in some ways but I am still doing a lot! The new garden plot wound up proving to be a bad decision so we let that go back to grass.  I have two good sized gardens now and that seems to be all I can keep up with for now.

There are things I still plan to do while here but I can take with me, Bees are one of those things! I will of course be rooting off a lot of plants to move and even digging some things up, some of my bulbs etc. Splitting Iris and such. Splitting and potting some of all my medicinal herbs. Whoever buys this place will surely be getting a wonderful set up and be so far ahead of the game with all that we have done here and put in plant wise and such. The hoop houses and raised bed gardens. The fruit orchard etc.

As soon as we can find the property we plan to put a Barney rubble (travel trailer) on it and leave it there. Then we will be able to go there and stay over the next 4-5 yrs. Get our barn built etc.... Then we will retire and move there full time! So I will have time to move lots of plants! We then can live in the travel trailer while our cabin home is built. I know what they say, the best laid plans..... but with luck this will all work out as we would like it to. I am a planner by nature. Its how I do things. I make plans, they can change as they need to... they are not written in concrete, but my nature is to plan everything so this is the plan :o)....

It feels so good to finally be putting a time table on all this! :O)

  ... that is why I am working so hard right now and pushing myself as hard as I am.

Looking back, goaty pics & even a tractor pic :O)

I feel change in the air, do you ever get feelings and you know they are to happen, I do and always have my whole life.... I don't mean I am psychic, though I will tell you I think everyone is to some degree, if that is the word you want to use. We all get feelings, thoughts, etc. that later prove to be accurate, right... you know those feelings you get that are so strong you can't ignore them,  that resurface multiple times... A couple weeks back I got a very strong feeling of change...its the best I could make of the feeling... and I have had it to a lesser degree a few times since. Today I feel unsettled... I found myself looking at pictures from here on the farm, which lead to this post....

I miss the goats. Ya they were a lot of work but they were a lot of fun too. Lots of love and lots of cuddles.

I would sit for hours in the goat barn and love on the kids. I really miss the kids. This was Sterling, the second smallest kid born here. This little fella and I spent lots of time together. He was sooooooooo sweet and such a cuddle bug. I would get up every morning, throw on some clothes, grab my coffee and camera and head to the barn to sit and hold this little fella! He loved it.






 Littlest kid we had born here, This is Skittles who we still have. He  keeps Cubey company.  He was squished flat between his 2 siblings.  Truly he was flat. I had to help his nanny deliver him and his siblings, it was a rough delivery. At first I just knew he was dead. But I jiggled him and blew air into him and prayed. It worked. He had a rough start but he made it with some extra TLC. He would fit in my hand! He was just amazingly small! He didn't look real, he looked like a toy. Skittles is truly like a dog. He likes to be petted, he loves to play head butt game. He butts his head into your palm when you hold it out to him. Honeyman taught him that LOL. I can't play the game to much with him as he gets to butting to hard LOL. Honeyman plays it with him. He is about the size of Cubey now. Tiny bit taller. He is a whether.

 Skittles with his siblings,Nanny, he was bow legged as could be for quite a while. But his legs are fine now.

 Harrison our buck. He was wild but he was pretty! It took me a lot of hours of sitting in the pasture with a feed bucket softly talking to him, or just being quiet...to get him to come to me amd take food out of my hand. Harrison was a one buck to the farm kind of buck. He would try to kill any other bucks we had. He simply would not allow another buck to live on this place.  Even whethers he was not very nice to! Not that we ever needed another buck. He totally handled the job all by himself very well.

Beautiful he was

This was later when he decided I was okay... he would come close to me and let me take his picture and take a treat.


                                                           Cubey with some of her kids
Sugarcube aka Cubey they don't come any better than her, in any meaning. Everyone would have 100 goats if they were all like her! 

Honeyman holding Dolly who was rejected by her Nanny, my best bud has Dolly. She took her and bottle fed her and still has her. She  turned out to be a good milk goat. I could never figure out for sure why her Nanny rejected her, my only guess was her Nanny had given birth numerous times, always single kids and always bucks. When Dolly was born her nanny had two kids. Its the only time she ever had two. She left Dolly laying outside the barn and was with her other kid a buck inside the barn. When I tried to get her to accept Dolly she acted like I was trying to give her some other goats kid. She actually tossed dolly several feet when I put Dolly up close to her to try to get her to let her eat. Both the kids were nice sized kids and healthy.
I wasn't with her when she kidded, she surprise delivered on me. Maybe had I been there, will never know. Bossy was always a strong kidder and super good Mom.



One of the dumber things I did ....I had put a mineral bucket out. Never thinking about the handle on the bucket and  using this style clip.   I found Bossy standing with her head stuck in the bucket because her horn had got hung/stuck in the clip I had hung the bucket by. Thus trapping the bucket between her horns. 
... DUH ... needless to say I didn't hang buckets that way again! She was fine but very happy to get her head out of that bucket. She had had her fill of minerals to say the least LOL

                                         ..  it will have to do Mr Preppy... :O)
                                            from a couple years back.


Working but still here

I just fnished these roman shades with attached valances. I tell you the photos don't do them justice. They really turned out lovely.


The client wanted valances, so drew up several on paper till I had the right shape and that was a go. I used a roll of Christmas paper I picked up on after Christmas clearance to draw the valance pattern on and then cut it out. This paper had a 1" grid printed on the back of the paper. I have used these rolls of paper for all sorts of things none of which has been to wrap a present.

This fabric had a dot/check and a stripe pattern to it. I was very careful to make sure this all lined up from valance to shade. The tassel bead trim really set these off. This was a upholstery weight fabric. Though not super heavy and it did not have a  backing on it like some upholstery fabrics. Those would not work well in roman shades.





I am rarely ever on the installs....so my photos are always of the shades hanging in my workroom on my shade holder. The client did send via the phone photos of them installed. They looked pretty and they were so happy with them. It made me feel really good.

On the garden end of things:
I have started pulling up plants in my garden. This is the earliest I have ever done this. I worked over the holiday day weekend doing this.  I have to say, the two big makers this year so far have both been hybrid seeds. My jalapenos are making better than any other pepper. those are Burpee gigante hybrid. Then my Lemon Boy tomatoes a hybrid are making more tomatoes than any other tomato. Full size tomato not cherries.

Back to work!

Todays canning, I am beat....

7 quarts of blackberry juice
18 jars of rotel
1 - 1/2 gallon of dill pickles
11 pints of pickled cherry tomatoes

What a day! But lots of yummies!  Not the best pictures, still can't get my other camera to flash and this one I am not used to using. So not the best pics. Everything looks anemic in these photos LOL



Canning and a camera question?

In between making roman shades I have been canning.
Some of what I have canned...

4 half gallon jars of pickles. I canned these in half gallons because the cucumbers were bigger and I like them whole (though I did have to cut some in spears and half lengthwise to pack the jars tight) we love dill pickles so having them in half gallon jars works for us. We can eat a quart of pickles in a week around here so no worries they will go bad sitting in the fridge once opened. I eat dill pickles for snacks a lot. I have always loved them.
 Pickled Juliet (cherry) tomatoes.  In the jar, grape leave, onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper. I put the recipe up oh my blog last year for these. :O).  I have also canned a gazillion quarts of blackberry juice. I have also done 15 jars of "rotel".


The garden has not made this year like it did last year, good thing I stayed with it last year and canned the 400 jars LOL. Because that is what will carry us on some items till next years garden! We have been enjoying fresh eating though and that has been nice. Just not enough extra of a lot of stuff to put up anything. 

Now for the camera question, my camera the flash will not go off on it. No matter what I do. I can hear it or I think I can going off. So this is my question. I am wondering if the light bulb burned out? Do these cameras do that? Its such a teeny tiny little spot where the flash is on this camera. Anyone just wondering if anyone else has ever had the flash burn out on these cameras that take the memory cards? I have a Kodak C180 camera. I have not had time to even google or research anything on this. I really hope it can be fixed easily and cheaply. I was not really looking to buy a new camera right now sighhhh.